A wingspan of almost three metres, fire-red eyes and richly contrasting feathers – this is the bearded vulture, the largest bird in the Alps.
It takes around 75 minutes to walk from Melchsee-Frutt to Tannalp and the observation point. From there it’s another 35 minutes or so to the Hengliboden information point: this opened as one of Switzerland’s bird reintroduction centres in 2015.
Suspected of taking lambs, the bearded vulture had been exterminated from the Alpine region by the beginning of the 20th century. Yet the accusation was entirely unfounded: the bearded vulture feeds exclusively on carrion (dead meat), thus ensuring that carcasses quickly disappear from the landscape. In other words, vultures help prevent diseases from spreading.